Hi all! My name is Camille Malleroni – better known under the pseudonym L’Oiseau Rose. In this destination guide I would like to introduce you to the Caribbean paradise of Martinique. This island is an overseas region of France in the French Antilles.
I am a French travel blogger and have lived out my passion for several years now. I have loved nature, wildlife and adventure ever since I was a little kid. Moreover, it was by capturing animals that my passion for photography really grew. My love for nature pushed me to explore new horizons.
I didn’t travel much as a child. I used to think that long journeys were reserved for the elite. But I was lucky enough to do an internship in Thailand while studying at university and I realised then that the world was my oyster! Since then, I have never stopped travelling to all four corners of the globe. I have even taken a round the world trip lasting over 15 months.
My Journey as a Travel Blogger
My travel blog – oiseaurose.com – was started in 2012 just before I started exploring the world. The aim was to share all the tips I had discovered from travelling and share my adventures with a real audience. I quickly realised that my travels and state of mind (that of a free spirit, outside of cliches and limiting beliefs) was a great interest and inspiration to people.
Today I hope to help more people live out their dreams. I try to help them understand that going on an adventure is within reach and that you don’t have to necessarily win the lotto to be able to travel. I also encourage people to “discover themselves” through travel which is infinitely enriching!
12 Wonderful Days in Martinique
Martinique was the only real big trip I took when I was a child. I went there when I was nine years old. I had wonderful memories of this island paradise and so I really wanted to go back. On my latest visit to Martinique I stayed for 12 days. I had the opportunity to survey the island in total freedom.
For this, I rented a car and booked two Airbnbs – one in the south and the other in the north. The island is not huge but it’s better to stay at a few different places so you don’t have to travel too many kilometres each day. My goal was to see all sides of the island and I think I succeeded!
I did many hikes in Martinique including the ascent to the famous Mount Pelee (which I had already climbed when I was nine years old), enjoyed several water-based activities like kayaking and snorkelling, visited the various charming towns, and of course relaxed on the sublime beaches.
Why Martinique Should be on your Bucket List
In general, the atmosphere of this island is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness of life that you find in the French Antilles. Martinique is a beautiful island and it has many facets. You really have to take the time to explore it as a whole because the island has a wide variety of landscapes.
Everything from beaches, forests, waterfalls, volcanoes, desert areas with tall cacti, and so on. It’s an impressive place! Therefore, there are many beautiful spots to discover. The richness in nature is particularly appealing. You can enjoy several different hikes – so it’s perfect for nature lovers.
Favourite Places in Martinique – Didier Waterfall & Anse Michel
I love the hike to Didier Waterfall. This hike represents nature in its purest form. You enter a tropical paradise where you see sublime waterfalls in the middle of a forest. To me, this is the perfect atmosphere because I feel at home in the forest. It’s like my little shaman side!
Another favourite area of mine is the beach landscape in the south of the island. To be specific, Anse Michel and its tall palm trees. It’s the perfect postcard image of a Caribbean island. A simple yet heavenly beach.
10 Best Things To Do in Martinique
1. Relax at the White Sand Beach of Anse des Salines
This beach is amazing because, quite simply, it’s the largest white sand beach in the south of the island. Anse des Salines is also famous because of how beautiful it is! Head down for a day of sunbathing and swimming.
2. Explore the Lush Jardin de Balata in Martinique
Jardin de Balata is a landscaped tropical garden that allows you to discover an incalculable number of exotic plants and beautiful flowers. Every time I visit I see small hummingbirds too. This is a little slice of paradise on Martinique and is not to be missed under any circumstances!
3. Climb 1,397 Metres to the Top of Mount Pelee
You absolutely must climb Mount Pelee during your trip to Martinique. It’s the most famous hike on the island and for good reason! Hike up 1,387 metres and enjoy uninterrupted views of the island and seascape.
4. Take a Boat Trip out to the Epic Diamond Rock
Diamond Rock is a small island located in front of the beach of the same name. It’s an unmissable point of view in Martinique. The 175-metre high rocky island is one of the best diving spots on the island of Martinique.
5. Discover the Black Sand Beaches of Martinique
Black sand beaches are so cool and luckily Martinique is blessed with a few of these gems. The sand of these beaches are of volcanic origin and they have this crazy charm! The most beautiful is undoubtedly Anse Couleuvre.
6. Chase the Majestic Waterfalls on the Island
Bathing in the cool waters of a waterfall is a fantastic experience on Martinique. Most of them can be accessed via hiking trails. I would like to recommend two specific ones: Didier Waterfall and Cascade Couleuvre.
7. Spend a Day on an Islet Surrounding Martinique
Another great thing about Martinique is that the island is surrounded by these beautiful little islets which you can visit by boat. You can easily spend a day on each islet – relaxing at the beaches and exploring the interiors. I recommend checking out Ilet Chevalier, Ilet Madame and Ilet du Robert.
8. Go Snorkelling or Diving at Various Spots
Snorkelling and diving are the ultimate island activities and Martinique has to be one of the best places in the world for these experiences! The island is blessed with a vibrant seabed and marine life. To see turtles, for example, go to Anse Dufour. Put on your snorkelling gear and say hello to the turtles!
9. Visit the Capital City Fort-de-France
Of course, you will have to visit the capital, Fort-de-France. The atmosphere of this city is bustling with markets and Martinicans going about their daily business. The colonial architecture is gorgeous to see.
10. Try some Famous Rum at a Local Distillery
Martinique is famous for its rum, so visiting a distillery is a must-do! There are, of course, several distilleries on the island but two of the most popular ones are Habitation Clement and Distillerie Saint-James.
Sweetness of Life in Martinique
In between these experiences you get the chance to meet the local people of Martinique. I was lucky to meet quite a few Martinicans. I found them to be especially nice and all with a good sense of humour. There is a certain sweetness of life here. I got the impression that the locals like the simple things in life. How can you not be peaceful when you live in paradise?
Delicious French and Creole Cuisine
The food of Martinique was another highlight of my visit. Dishes that we came across in small restaurants were the following: Accras as a starter (with cod, shrimp or vegetables), smoked chicken as a main course accompanied with Ti’ Punch (rum cocktail) and a local specialty for dessert.
You simply can’t miss the Gateau Robinson which is a traditional pastry of Martinique. Also, the Bananas Au Gratin and homemade ice cream was a treat at dessert time. There are so many fantastic options!
Another highlight are the “Greasy Spoon” shacks scattered on the island. These places serve local food which you can enjoy by the beach with your feet in the sand. Sometimes the best food can be found here.
Staying at Airbnbs in Martinique
I think it’s a great idea to book a couple of different places on your visit to Martinique. This way you don’t have to travel too much. For example, you could do a week in the north and a week in the south. I booked all of my accommodation through Airbnb because I love staying with locals. There is something for everyone with Airbnb at great rates compared to hotels.
My Favourite Memory of Martinique
To be honest, my entire 12-day trip to Martinique was dazzling. But If I had to choose just one favourite memory it would be the time I drove to Grand’Riviere. I passed through the most lush nature to arrive at this small isolated village at the northern tip of the island. All of this greenery and wild nature made me have tears in my eyes. It was so spectacular!
Need to Know Before you Go
First of all, it’s necessary to rent a car to travel freely in Martinique. You also have to think about calculating travel times to stay in the right places. And then for all those who wish to climb Mount Pelee, you should know that the best time is in February/March because there is often fog up there at other times of the year which makes it difficult to enjoy the view.
Apart from that, the only important thing is to enjoy the island and immerse yourself in the sweetness of life which Martinique is famous for 🙂